The American civil rights movements became necessary because minority groups in this country had enough of being bullied, marginalized and targeted by a society that punished them for being different. Whether it be the black or gay civil rights movements, or the movement to enfranchise and expand women’s rights, the goal was not for special rights, but for the ability to live our lives without threat and to enjoy all the rights to which every American is entitled.

The right to not be destroyed because people don’t like you — the bedrock principle informing all civil rights values and successes — is being made a mockery of by today’s modern liberal inquisitors. Ask comedian and actor Kevin Hart and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

Both black men offended the liberal morality police by making comments deemed insensitive or the now ubiquitous “homophobic” on social media years ago. Their word crimes required some miserable soul to pour over Twitter looking for a statement or attitude with which to crucify them.

This is done not just at a random moment, but during extraordinarily important times in their lives so the maximum amount of damage can be inflicted on their lives, reputations and careers.

Mr. Hart had just been named host of the 2019 Oscar awards when comments he made over a decade ago about not wanting his son to be gay were resurfaced. In a video on Instagram, Mr. Hart responded: “My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, everyone’s upset by tweets you did years ago,’ he said in that video. “Guys, I’m nearly 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I’m the wrong guy, man,” Variety reported.

The film academy asked him to apologize or they would find a new host. He opted for the former reminding people he had addressed the issue in the past and has become a different person. In a tweet, he then also apologized for his “insensitive words of the past.” Genuflection complete.

Mr. Murray was also condemned as ‘homophobic’ in a USA Today column covering the announcement that he was the recipient of the Heisman Trophy. Instead of covering the most important moment in this young man’s life, an apparently bitter columnist decided to dig through Mr. Murray’s Twitter account to see if there was anything with which he could smear the 21-year-old. And viola! Seven years ago, when he was 14, Mr. Murray used a word some consider to be a gay slur when referring to someone he knew. It’s a word, by the way, gays use all the time when referring to themselves.

The news coverage of the most important time in this young man’s life was then marred by allegations of Mr. Murraybeing anti-gay, which then also required an apology. He wrote on Twitter, “I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15. I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe. I did not intend to single out any individual or group.” Genuflection complete. Again.

In Mr. Hart’s case, there are many parents who do not want their children to be homosexual, which doesn’t make them homophobic. It’s because living as a sexual minority anywhere is difficult, and parents generally wish for their children to not have difficult lives.

Despite what we may want as gay people or how we see our lives, other individuals, including parents, have every right to have an opinion about what they want for their children. When it differs from our opinions, that doesn’t make everyone a homophobe. It also doesn’t mean they should be hounded for the rest of their lives, or their careers destroyed because they hurt our feelings or reminded us that our society is still imperfect.

The attack on Mr. Murray was disgusting and awful. He was smeared for a word he wrote as a child. The attack not just marred his great moment, but was perhaps meant to destroy his career as another warning by the liberal mob that any deviation from acceptable behavior and policy will be met with life-altering consequences.

No one organizing today’s liberal and gay inquisitions will grasp the horrible irony of the similarities they now share with the social tyrants we fought in the 20th century. We decided that destroying people because their identity offended us was wrong. That principle must be applied to those who offend us with their opinions. Right now we’re faced with social arguments that if you disagree with the liberal narrative you’re a bigot. That’s nonsense, but it is meant to cement the notion that not conforming to the liberal narrative will have dire personal consequences.

What’s really dangerous is not a man who wants his son to be heterosexual or a boy who uses a gay slang to upset another boy — it’s the adults who cynically use those situations to destroy lives in a fascist effort to gain political and social power by controlling people through fear.